How The Other Half Live...
/forum/topic/1156260/1

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liamh
Registered: Jul 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3697
Country: United Kingdom

Thanks for the comments everyone. Kolkata must be the easiest place on the planet to capture candid emotions - all of human life is on display there and everywhere you look there is something to shoot. It's not always pretty, sometimes it's upsetting, often it's disturbing, but it's always a privilege to witness nonetheless.

I agree about the dodgy vignette, I'll be doing a proper grade on everything I shot in Kolkata over the coming days. Maybe, I'll upload some more of the other shots I'm allowed to show in a new thread.

As for those of you who want to come on the road with me all I can say is you must be mad and be careful what you wish for



Steady Hand
Registered: Dec 03, 2007
Total Posts: 15284
Country: United States

liamh wrote:
Thanks for the comments everyone. Kolkata must be the easiest place on the planet to capture candid emotions - all of human life is on display there and everywhere you look there is something to shoot. It's not always pretty, sometimes it's upsetting, often it's disturbing, but it's always a privilege to witness nonetheless.

I agree about the dodgy vignette, I'll be doing a proper grade on everything I shot in Kolkata over the coming days. Maybe, I'll upload some more of the other shots I'm allowed to show in a new thread.

As for those of you who want to come on the road with me all I can say is you must be mad and be careful what you wish for



Regarding that last line...



derry1
Registered: Jun 29, 2009
Total Posts: 1262
Country: United States

hey I actually like Bollywood movies,,

is a shame to see that humans really live at this level of poverty, but so many do around the globe,,

Derry



jeraldcook
Registered: Dec 29, 2009
Total Posts: 522
Country: United States

liamh wrote:
Thanks for the comments everyone. Kolkata must be the easiest place on the planet to capture candid emotions - all of human life is on display there and everywhere you look there is something to shoot. It's not always pretty, sometimes it's upsetting, often it's disturbing, but it's always a privilege to witness nonetheless.

I agree about the dodgy vignette, I'll be doing a proper grade on everything I shot in Kolkata over the coming days. Maybe, I'll upload some more of the other shots I'm allowed to show in a new thread.

As for those of you who want to come on the road with me all I can say is you must be mad and be careful what you wish for



Are there any unwritten rules about compensating street photography subjects, especially impoverished ones? I'm not saying my feeling is rational, or that you should feel the same way, but I would feel slightly guilty photographing impoverished people with my expensive camera gear without compensating them. It might be only a token amount, but something.



liamh
Registered: Jul 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3697
Country: United Kingdom

jeraldcook wrote:

Are there any unwritten rules about compensating street photography subjects, especially impoverished ones? I'm not saying my feeling is rational, or that you should feel the same way, but I would feel slightly guilty photographing impoverished people with my expensive camera gear without compensating them. It might be only a token amount, but something.


That is a very good question and not an easy one to answer. Sometimes money is exchanged, sometimes not. The only rule I use is common sense.

I'm trained to work in difficult and hostile environments and I abhor exploitation. I like to think that everything I shoot and the manner in which I conduct myself is ethically sound. Sometimes though, the line between morals and professionalism can get blurred leaving those concerned feeling wretched. It really needs it's own thread to discuss it properly though.



Steady Hand
Registered: Dec 03, 2007
Total Posts: 15284
Country: United States

liamh wrote:
jeraldcook wrote:

Are there any unwritten rules about compensating street photography subjects, especially impoverished ones? I'm not saying my feeling is rational, or that you should feel the same way, but I would feel slightly guilty photographing impoverished people with my expensive camera gear without compensating them. It might be only a token amount, but something.


That is a very good question and not an easy one to answer. Sometimes money is exchanged, sometimes not. The only rule I use is common sense.

I'm trained to work in difficult and hostile environments and I abhor exploitation. I like to think that everything I shoot and the manner in which I conduct myself is ethically sound. Sometimes though, the line between morals and professionalism can get blurred leaving those concerned feeling wretched. It really needs it's own thread to discuss it properly though.


I think that would be a good discussion topic, and because of your world-wide experience in some remote and impoverished areas, AND the fact that you travel to film (professionally, not just as a tourist), I would be most interested in your perspective on the issue.



Annapurna
Registered: Dec 29, 2004
Total Posts: 66
Country: Denmark

liamh wrote:
Thanks for the comments everyone. Kolkata must be the easiest place on the planet to capture candid emotions - all of human life is on display there and everywhere you look there is something to shoot. It's not always pretty, sometimes it's upsetting, often it's disturbing, but it's always a privilege to witness nonetheless.

As for those of you who want to come on the road with me all I can say is you must be mad and be careful what you wish for



Right. Calcutta or Kolkata was my first experience with the far east. Never forget the place. 1979. Nice photos you got. Thanks for sharing. /Mikkelsen, Denmark



liamh
Registered: Jul 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3697
Country: United Kingdom

Steady Hand wrote:

I think that would be a good discussion topic, and because of your world-wide experience in some remote and impoverished areas, AND the fact that you travel to film (professionally, not just as a tourist), I would be most interested in your perspective on the issue.


Okay, but that will need some thought - possibly one for tomorrow.



Velu01
Registered: Aug 24, 2003
Total Posts: 2586
Country: Belgium

jeraldcook wrote:
Are there any unwritten rules about compensating street photography subjects, especially impoverished ones? I'm not saying my feeling is rational, or that you should feel the same way, but I would feel slightly guilty photographing impoverished people with my expensive camera gear without compensating them. It might be only a token amount, but something.


Speaking for myselve, first, I always show respect, as much as possible.
You can show respect in many ways. By learning the language ( a few words already make a difference !), by listening to their story, show interest, spend some time with them, socialize ... whenever possible.
Second, I rarely give money, but compensate for example by buying food, or buy something from them (jewelry for example), but I'll not actually take it with me, that way they can sell it twice.
Or I ask to guide me. Point is, that they should"work" for it, which is a healthy way of helping them.
Sometimes when it really get's to me, I just give some money.



Rgds
Velu



liamh
Registered: Jul 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3697
Country: United Kingdom

Good points Velu, respect is the key.



qwyjibo
Registered: May 12, 2009
Total Posts: 875
Country: United States

That's a good topic for discussion, but in the interim this set is damn good. 9 is stunning, haunting, and a whole slew of other adjectives. Thanks for sharing this Liam.
Dave



Arka
Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Total Posts: 10490
Country: United States

liamh wrote:
As for those of you who want to come on the road with me all I can say is you must be mad and be careful what you wish for



Definitely with respect to Calcutta. Having been there many times, I find at a fascinating but taxing place; definitely not for everyone.

Arka C.



Arka
Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Total Posts: 10490
Country: United States

liamh wrote:
That is a very good question and not an easy one to answer. Sometimes money is exchanged, sometimes not. The only rule I use is common sense.

I'm trained to work in difficult and hostile environments and I abhor exploitation. I like to think that everything I shoot and the manner in which I conduct myself is ethically sound. Sometimes though, the line between morals and professionalism can get blurred leaving those concerned feeling wretched. It really needs it's own thread to discuss it properly though.


Liam, this is a great series!

In my experience there, many subjects demand a "tip" for modeling for you. While I don't have a problem offering something in exchange for the privilege to shoot, the problem with doing it in Calcutta is that you often end up being mobbed by several others who, observing your generosity, think there may be more available.

I've found that children are very easy to photograph, and love seeing their picture on the back of the camera. However, adults can be more transactional, asking for money in exchange. Even if you know the language and can share a story or two, people are practical and want a little something for their time and trouble.



liamh
Registered: Jul 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3697
Country: United Kingdom

qwyjibo wrote:
That's a good topic for discussion, but in the interim this set is damn good. 9 is stunning, haunting, and a whole slew of other adjectives. Thanks for sharing this Liam.
Dave

Thanks Dave. #9 and #8 are my picks.



liamh
Registered: Jul 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3697
Country: United Kingdom

Arka wrote:
liamh wrote:
As for those of you who want to come on the road with me all I can say is you must be mad and be careful what you wish for



Definitely with respect to Calcutta. Having been there many times, I find at a fascinating but taxing place; definitely not for everyone.

Arka C.


Agreed. Delhi and Mumbai are a walk in the park by comparison.



liamh
Registered: Jul 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3697
Country: United Kingdom

Arka wrote:
In my experience there, many subjects demand a "tip" for modeling for you. While I don't have a problem offering something in exchange for the privilege to shoot, the problem with doing it in Calcutta is that you often end up being mobbed by several others who, observing your generosity, think there may be more available.


The problem in an environment like Calcutta is it's very easy to create a situation that can turn ugly. Shoot and move is my maxim.



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